New Zealand

Neuroscience | Education | Parenting


Nathan is a father of three, stepfather to two and foster father to many more. His professional background includes early childhood teacher, child therapist, social service manager, university lecturer and neuroscience trainer. Following his time at the University of Canterbury, he founded a private training consultancy with the goal of facilitating easy to understand professional development reflecting the latest neuroscience discoveries and their practical implications for everyday practice. Nathan is is an advisor for the NZ Ministry of Education, and an expert advisor for NZ Ministry of Vulnerable Children.

Since then he has been in hot demand, delivering in excess of 150 presentations every year throughout Australia, New Zealand, China, Saudi Arabia and the UK. 

His increasing media profile includes – National Radio and TV appearances as a guest expert on parenting, teaching and the understanding the developing brain of young people. He has filmed a Neuroscience documentary screened in 2017 and produced two DVDs exploring how the brain works and how neuroscience can better inform our day to day interactions with Brain Development for Babies and The Teenage Brain.

Inspirational and charismatic, Nathan’s keen ability to translate neuroscience into every day life and practice engages all audiences. 

BOOK NATHAN          ►  WATCH NATHAN        



The Developing Brain

The last decade could rightfully be called the ‘decade of the brain’ as advances in medical and neuroscience have deepened our understanding of brain development and cognitive functioning, more than any other period before. Much of the public discussion has related to new knowledge of infant’s brains, however, just as many amazing are discoveries have been made relating to brain development and functioning from childhood right through to late adolescence.

These findings often contradict many of the long-held practices that helping professionals, teachers and parents have viewed as best practice. The result is that there is now a large gap between how people ‘think’ the developing brain functions and what neuroscience research has actually shown to be the case. An understanding of this knowledge and its practical application will help to guide your practice to better meet the behavioural, developmental and educational needs of the children, adolescents and families you work with.

You will learn:

  • How a child’s brain works and matures including the different parts of the brain such as the frontal cortex, the influence of plasicty, and the reptilian brain.
  • What the research has shown about the ideal physical, emotional, educational and social conditions under which the developing brain functions at its best.
  • What are the implications of this knowledge for professional practice and parenting with children and adolescents?
  • What approaches and interventions work best from a neuroscience perspective and how to turn an outburst, argument or fear into a chance to integrate a child’s brain and foster vital social and emotional development.
  • From a neuroscience perspective, what are the common pitfalls parents, teachers, and helping professionals make when working with young people and which of our current approaches have been shown to be less helpful then we thought.
  • Practice considerations when working with children and adolescents who have experienced early life trauma which may have impacted upon their early brain development.

This is an invaluable workshop for professionals working with children, young people and families looking to reinvigorate their practice and enhance their understanding of clients' needs. Full of “aha!” moments, Nathan explores fascinating discoveries in neuroscience, explains them in plain English and provides guidance on how to put this knowledge to practical use in the classroom, therapy room and home, with recommendations backed by evidence from neuroscience for optimum social and emotional well-being.

This topic can be delivered as a keynote or workshop (half to two days), and can be tailored to your audience (practitioners/ educators/ parents/ young people). For training at your workplace the topic can be tailored to focus on the early brain (the vital first 1000 days) or the teenage brain.



"This training has to be one of the best I have attended. Nathan's energy, enthusiasm and knowledge is wonderful to experience. I feel excited to go back to work with so much knowledge that really could make a difference." 

Resource Teacher for Learning and Behaviour 

"I have found this seminar extremely interesting. Nathan is an amazing presenter, I love his style and passion in this area. His professional expertise and knowledge is inspiring!" 

School Guidance Counsellor 

“I didn't realise that there was so much going on in my kids heads. This information has been awesome to hear. I really feel like I have a completely new understanding of why my teenager is like he is. I’m Not worried at all any more. Thanks so much Nathan you are an AWESOME communicator. You make everything so easy to understand.” 


“I could spend days listening to Nathan Wallis speak. He makes this material so easy to understand and brings the information so effortlessly into a real world context. While it is heavily influenced by science, Nathan makes it seem so conversational and simple to understand. Loved his humour as well.” 


“Best use of our staff professional development budget that I could think of. This information has really ignited an interest in our teaching staff to think about ‘brain appropriate’ ways to engage their students. We are looking forward to getting Nathan back in the future.”

Primary School Principal

“Amazing Presentation with very practical inspiring content. Nathan has a great sense of humour and presentation style. I cannot wait to spread the word and include what I have learnt into my daily practice with children and families”

Team Leader - Barnardos

"Our network event was a total success. Nathan was a perfect speaker - engaging, informative and funny. People are still talking about it weeks later."

Network Coordinator - Family Law


Book Nathan for your event!


Organisation (optional)

Email address

Phone number (optional)